>I've concluded that I have a robbing situation. However they don't seem to have bothered the hive bees other than being an annoyance and drinking their feed. No destroyed comb, no dead bees, etc. I think they're heading straight for the syrup+HBH.
They only thing more likely to set off robbing than feeding syrup is feeding honey or syrup with HBH. I would get rid of (or feed it to a strong hive) the syrup with the HBH.
>Now that I know that, I am taking very deliberate steps to not have the robbers START attacking the hive bees (which I guess WOULD happen if I just stopped providing the robbers the syrup).
Provide the robbers with syrup in THEIR hive...
> tacked some screen over the entrance yesterday to reduce the entrance. I didn't have a formal robber screen ready. There's room for 1-3 bees to enter at a time. Lots of robbers congregated on the front of the screen. Because there wasn't a barrier, I think many may have ended up inside. But I feel certain it slowed them down a lot.
The screen is good. Reduce it down to not more then 3/8" by 3/8"...
>I re-read MB's ideas on his site at http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
. Today I bought some Vaporub and applied some under the bottom of the landing board and over the entrance. 5 minutes later I saw much fewer robbers congregating there. I consider this a short-term emergency remedy.
It will confuse them and confusion is your friend.
>plan to make some true robbing screens tonight out of scraps of wood and more screen. I'll put them on after dark.
>My question is this. I am pretty much 100% certain that the HBH is what is drawing the robbers.
I 100% sure it is contributing, but syrup can attract robbers anyway... and ants...
> If I keep feeding with syrup+HBH, I may have stopped 90% of the robbing but I would expect the robbers to keep trying.
You have to stop 100% of the robbing...
>If I am not correct in this and the consensus is that the real robbing screen with an upper entrance will stop the robbing please let me know.
You will need to get the HBH out of the hive that is being robbed or the robbers will keep homing in on the smell.
>My trick of last resort is to close them up one night, move them the 12 miles to the house, stop feeding them with HBH and just feed them with sugar syrup.
Steal honey from the strong hives and give it to the nucs. Do NOT feed a weak hive when there is a strong hive around. Feed the strong hive and steal stores from them for the weak hives...
>Reminder - these are nucs I'm trying to get built up before winter. I'm not trying to get honey. So at the current time they'd be considered a "weak hive". I just want to give them the best shot at survival.
Inducing robbing is giving them almost 100% chance of not making it another day...
>Should I even feed right now?
No. Never feed a hive that is being robbed if you can help it. If you HAVE to, (they are out of stores and you can't steal honey from a strong hive) then give them dry sugar. Dry sugar is the least likely food to attract robbers. (but will still attract ants).